Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2011/2012

Date: Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Venue: The Senate Chamber

2:00 pm The meeting opened in public session.

2:01 pm Mr Anderson and Ms McCann entered the meeting.

1. Apologies

Apologies are listed above.

2:02 pm Mr McLaughlin entered the meeting.

2. Minutes of the meeting on 14 September 2011

Agreed: The minutes of the last meeting were agreed.

3. Matters Arising

Correspondence from DFP

The Committee noted correspondence from Mr Stephen Peover, Accounting Officer, Department of Finance and Personnel informing the Committee that Ms Fiona Hamill has been reappointed to the role of Treasury Officer of Accounts.

Correspondence from the Head of the Northern Ireland Civil Service

The Committee noted correspondence from Sir Bruce Robinson, Head of the Northern Ireland Civil Service relating to the information sought by the Committee regarding accountability arrangements for the Senior Civil Service and secondments within the NICS.

2:05 pm Mr Girvan left the meeting.

2:06 pm Mr Girvan entered the meeting.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to seek clarification of some of the information contained within the response.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to refer the correspondence to the Committee for Finance and Personnel for its consideration.

Correspondence from DFP

Agreed: The Committee agreed to consider the correspondence in closed session after the evidence session.

4. Evidence on the Northern Ireland Audit Office Report ‘Managing Criminal Legal Aid’.

The Committee took oral evidence on the above report from:

  • Mr Nick Perry, Accounting Officer, Department of Justice (DOJ);
  • Mr David A. Lavery, Accounting Officer and Director, Northern Ireland Courts and Tribunals Service; and
  • Mr Paul Andrews, Chief Executive, Northern Ireland Legal Services Commission

2:10 pm Mr Anderson and Ms McCann declared an interest stating that they are both members of the Committee for Justice.

2:50 pm Mr Anderson left the meeting.

2:52 pm Mr Hussey left the meeting.

2:56 pm Mr Anderson entered the meeting.

3:09 pm Mr Easton left the meeting.

3:55 pm Mr Copeland left the meeting.

3:56 pm Mr Girvan entered the meeting.

3:58 pm Mr Copeland entered the meeting.

4:00 pm Mr McLaughlin left the meeting.

4:05 pm Mr Anderson left the meeting.

The witnesses answered a number of questions put by the Committee.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to request further information from the witnesses.

4:20 pm The meeting was suspended.

4:25 pm The meeting recommenced in closed session.

5. PAC Report Security

The Committee agreed to consider this item at its next meeting on 28 September 2011.

3. Matters Arising

Correspondence from DFP

The Committee noted correspondence from Mr Stephen Peover, Accounting Officer, Department of Finance and Personnel providing a response relating to the Committee’s ongoing inquiry into ‘Reducing Water Pollution from Agricultural Sources – The Farm Nutrient Scheme’.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to seek a further item of correspondence and to request a witness from LPS for the 28 September evidence session.

6. Any other business

There was no other business.

7. Date, time and place of next meeting

Agreed: The Committee agreed to begin its next meeting at the earlier time of 1.30 pm in closed session before taking evidence at 2 pm.

The next meeting will be held on Wednesday, 28 September 2011 at 1:30 pm in the Senate Chamber.

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 4:42 pm.

Mr Paul Maskey MP
Chairperson, Public Accounts Committee
28 September 2011.

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